Full steam ahead for nostalgia

MARK NICHOLLS A nostalgic weekend of steam is lined up for Norfolk at the end of April.


A nostalgic weekend of steam is lined up for Norfolk at the end of April.

Steam trains will haul a special express from Norwich to London Liverpool Street, via Lowestoft, and there will also be a series of shuttle services operating on the Bittern Line from Norwich to Cromer and Sheringham.

In addition another one-day steam tour on board “The Fenman” from Norwich to Lincoln and onwards to Doncaster will also run.

The event, hosted by the King's Lynn-based Railway Touring Company, takes place on April 29, 30 and May 1.

The steam weekend begins with the recreation of “The Easterling”, a classic steam journey from Norwich to London Liverpool Street via the original East Suffolk route on Saturday, April 29, and hauled by a former LNER type B1 4-6-0 61264.

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Throughout the 1950s The Easterling ran non-stop from London's Liverpool Street to Beccles before branching off to Lowestoft or Yarmouth, bringing holidaymakers to Norfolk.

Steaming out of Norwich at 8.30am it will call at Reedham (approximately 8.45am), Hadiscoe (8.55am), Lowestoft (9.10-9.20am) and Beccles (9.33am).

Passengers travel on Premier Dining tickets (£149 each) can tuck into a full English breakfast en route and a four-course dinner, silver served at their seats, on the way back.

The train journeys along the East Suffolk line passing the towns of Saxmundham and Woodbridge before joining the mainline at Ipswich.

At Colchester, the B1 Class locomotive takes water before arriving at Liverpool Street at around 12.15pm giving passengers four hours to look around the capital.

At 4.45pm The Easterling departs Liverpool Street for a fast run over Brentwood Bank to Colchester, pausing for water before continuing along the mainline through Diss to Norwich, arriving before 8pm. From Norwich the train continues to Lowestoft.

Nigel Dobbing, managing director of The Railway Touring Company which is a specialist UK and overseas tour operator, said: “Steam travel brings the nostalgia of yesteryear to the present, prompting poignant memories for many and creating new ones for younger passengers”.

The steam shuttles on the Bittern Line on April 30 depart from Norwich at 10.15am, 1pm and 5pm and are hauled by the same locomotive.

Passengers will travel from Norwich to Cromer and Sheringham via Wroxham and North Walsham, before returning to Norwich from Cromer with a Class 31 diesel. Seats for the trip, which takes around two-and-a-half hours, are limited.

The journey to Lincoln and Doncaster on May 1 departs Norwich Station at 8.30am hours and heads to Lincoln via Wymondham, Ely and King's Lynn, with the return diesel hauled.

For more information call the Railway Touring Company on 01553 661500.

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